OBC survey put on hold in Odisha as COVID-19 cases surge

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 29 (PTI) Keeping in view the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) has postponed the much-awaited survey of social and educational condition of people belonging to the OBC community, a senior official said.

The survey was scheduled to be conducted between May 1 and May 20 and the OSCBC was expected to come up with the final list by June 11.

'In connection with the recent upsurge of SARS-CoV-2 related cases in the state, the survey of social and educational conditions of the people belonging to backward classes which was previously scheduled to commence from May 1, 2021, is hereby held up until further instructions from the Commission,' member secretary of the OSCBC, Veer Vikram Yadav, said in an order.

The revised schedule will be announced later, he said.

The Odisha government in February 2020 had appointed Justice Raghunath Biswal, a former orissa High Court judge, as chairman of the OSCBC.

The other members of the Commission are Navneeta Rath, Mitali Chinnara, and Prasanna Kumar Patra.

The state government had decided to conduct the OBC survey after the Centre did not agree to a proposal of the state cabinet for census of socially and economically backward classes during the 2021 general census.

Soon after the Centres rejection, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had tabled the Odisha State Backward Classes (Amendment) Bill in the state assembly for enabling the survey.

In 1993, Odisha was the first state to formally constitute an OBC Commission as per provisions of the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

However, no chairperson had been appointed till last year. PTI COR AAM MM MM